Once the well is poisoned, does adding more poison matter?

One of the more bizarre developments on the right wing of US politics (and this saying a lot given how off-the-charts nutty the right wing has become) is the emergence of a group known as ‘groypers’. They have taken as their symbol an obese version of the cartoon character Pepe the Frog, which is appropriate in a way because the right-wing neo-Nazis and white supremacists had already adopted Pepe as their symbol over the objections of its creator. Groypers are, if you can believe it, even more racist and have ramped up their racism and anti-Semitism to 11.

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

I first heard about this group when they heckled Donald Trump Jr. so much at an event he held to promote his ‘book’ that he was forced to leave the stage. Will Sommer explains what is going on behind the protests that the groypers have launched at events hosted by groups such as Turning Point and Young America’s Foundation, who are your standard issue right-wing nutters.

They ask questions meant to push their anti-Semitic and racist beliefs into mainstream pro-Trump conservatism, and heckle speakers—even Donald Trump Jr.

The fight has generated new publicity for groyper leader Nick Fuentes, a 2017 Charlottesville marcher and Holocaust denier. Meanwhile, Turning Point has struggled with the questioners mobbing their events. Turning Point boss and Trump pal Charlie Kirk, who has become the focus for much of the so-called “America First” crew’s enmity, tried to turn the tables on them in an appearance last month at the University of Houston.

Kirk showed up for his showdown with the groypers with a computer monitor hidden under a cloak. At a dramatic moment, Kirk pulled off the cloak to reveal the monitor-and was initially stymied by his inability to get the video to actually play. Kirk eventually succeeded in playing a clip of Fuentes criticizing Trump, which was meant to embarrass the groypers. Instead, Kirk was chased off campus by yelling Fuentes fans.

Now Fuentes and his crew are taking on one of Turning Point’s biggest events. Next week, Turning Point activists will gather in West Palm Beach, Florida, for their annual Student Action Summit, to hear from speakers including Ben Shapiro, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. At an undisclosed location nearby, though, Fuentes and his allies will be holding a “Groyper Leadership Summit” at the same time.

Fuentes’ event appears to be aimed at embarrassing Turning Point, potentially by luring some of the Turning Point students to Fuentes’ white nationalist event. Turning Point has already lost some campus leaders over the fight, with a few heads of college chapters resigning from Turning Point after siding with Fuentes.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, having these racist groups turn on each other can be seen as a good thing since it takes their attention and energy away from the rest of us. But on the other hand, what does it say about the state of American politics when even people like Trump, Shapiro, Beck, and Hannity are not racist enough for some people?

Donald Trump and his cult followers have poisoned the well of public discourse, brazenly lying and spewing hateful rhetoric against pretty much every person and group who do not shower their Dear Leader with fulsome praise. Does it matter that they have spawned an even more virulent offshoot? Is hate reaching the point of diminishing returns, which is why these people have to keep escalating the rhetoric just to gain attention?


  1. says

    Groypers are, if you can believe it, even more racist and have ramped up their racism and anti-Semitism to 11.

    Are they sound on ethics in gaming journalism?

  2. says

    This is where they’re headed:

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”

    He said, “Nobody loves me.”

    I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

    He said, “Yes.”

    I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”

    He said, “A Christian.”

    I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?”

    He said, “Protestant.”

    I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”

    He said, “Baptist.”

    I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

    He said, “Northern Baptist.”

    I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”

    I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?”

    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”

    I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”

    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

    I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

  3. lochaber says


    Isn’t this pretty standard for racists and bigots? once they clear out the easy targets, they don’t just settle down for tea and scones, they tighten the standards and chase/beat/kill out the lowest group on the ladder. And they keep dropping their ladder, rung by rung, further and further into the waters of oppression.

    this isn’t some great mystery, it’s an essential part of how they operate. It’s not new. Anyone who supports bigotry and then finds themselves caught under the wheel is nothing more than a useful idiot, at best.

    Even if you excise morality and empathy from the equation, bigotry is just intellectually lazy, and 20 times out of 20, it will turn on you in time.

  4. Bruce says

    The mystery to me is how long an Arian supremacy group can be led by a person named Fuentes? Are they just following him in order to appear politically correct? Or, are the neo-NAZIs importing foreign aliens to do the evil jobs that Americans don’t want to do? What if everyone in the hate group turns out to be just some stooge that was hired maybe by a Koch brother to do the nastiness that he couldn’t be bothered to exert himself on?

  5. Archist says

    In response to Bruce’s comment…

    Maybe the neo-NAZI’s are just to ignorant to realize the Hispanic origins of Fuentes, or maybe they simply don’t grasp the hypocrisy of having a Hispanic lead their xenophobic religion.

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